Mexico officials: roof garden may have caused mall collapse

Blanche Robertson
July 14, 2018

The main entrance of the Artz Pedregal shopping mall, located in southern Mexico City, collapsed on Thursday, July 12.

In a statement, the mall's operator said that it notified city authorities when it noticed signs the area was collapsing.

The 1.5 million-feet Artz Pedregal mall opened in March, and while parts remain under construction, shops like Gucci, Montblanc, Peyrelongue, and the first Starbucks Reserve Bar in Mexico had been open for business. It had drawn the ire of neighbors anxious about the loss of open space, congestion and other issues.

Mexico City's head of civil protection Fausto Lugo said that the cause was structural, but that experts would need to investigate whether the specific problem related to its design, construction or materials. The destroyed building fell across lanes of a major freeway, which had been closed shortly before the collapse. No injuries were reported.

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The Mexico City prosecutors' office said late Thursday that planters used in the roof garden added excess weight that apparently contributed to the collapse of a cantilevered section that stuck out from the building.

Local residents had reportedly complained about the placement of the mall, which they said led to traffic congestion and overcrowding.

A collapsed shopping center in Mexico City, Mexico is seen in this July 12, 2018 image obtained from social media. At least two lanes were closed.

In 2016, while foundation work was still being done on the mall, a retaining wall next to the expressway partly collapsed.

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